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1939–40 NHL season

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Title: 1939–40 NHL season  
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1939–40 NHL season

1939–40 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration November 2, 1939 – April 13, 1940
Number of games 48
Number of teams 7
Regular season
Season champion Boston Bruins
Season MVP Ebbie Goodfellow (Detroit Red Wings)
Top scorer Milt Schmidt (Boston Bruins)
Stanley Cup
Champions New York Rangers
  Runners-up Toronto Maple Leafs

The 1939–40 NHL season was the 23rd season for the National Hockey League. Of the league's seven teams, the Boston Bruins were the best in the 48-game regular season, but the Stanley Cup winners were the New York Rangers, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in the best-of-seven final series 4–2 for their third Stanley Cup in 14 seasons of existence. It would be another 54 years before their fourth.

Contents

  • Regular season 1
    • Final standings 1.1
  • Playoffs 2
    • Quarter-finals and Semi-finals 2.1

Regular season

Tragedy struck the Montreal Canadiens when Babe Siebert, named coach of the struggling club, drowned along with his daughter in August. It put a big hole in the Habs defence and the team finished last under Pit Lepine. An all-star benefit was held in Siebert's memory.

The New York Americans, in financial trouble, decided to trade their star left wing Sweeney Schriner to Toronto for Harvey "Busher" Jackson, Buzz Boll, Murray Armstrong, and minor-leaguer Jimmy Fowler. Late in the season, they traded Eddie Wiseman and $5000 to Boston for Eddie Shore. The Americans then managed to make the playoffs by finishing a poor sixth. They also obtained Charlie Conacher and used him as a defenceman.

The first place Boston Bruins had a new coach in Cooney Weiland, their one-time captain, and were once again led by their Kraut Line, Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart, and Bobby Bauer as they finished 1–2–3 in overall league scoring. Unfortunately, the potent three were unable to help the Bruins get past the first round of the playoffs as the Bruins lost in six games to the Rangers.

The New York Rangers were coasting in first place and went 19 consecutive games without a loss. They slumped in the second half, though, and Boston edged them out for first place.

The first NHL game broadcast on television was between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens on February 25, 1940. The game was seen by only 300 people in a small area in the United States. This, though, was not the first ice hockey game broadcast on television, as a broadcast had been made in England in 1938. The CBC's first hockey broadcast was in 1952 between the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.

Final standings

Playoffs

The Boston Bruins were expected to make the Stanley Cup finals after a first overall finish during the regular season riding the shoulders of the "Kraut Line". But the New York Rangers were too much for the Bruins who lost in six games, out-scored 14 to 8 and shut-out twice, in the first round. The third seed Toronto Maple Leafs swept the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks en route to the Stanley Cup finals.

Note: All dates in 1940

Quarter-finals and Semi-finals

Series A: Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers
Date Home Score Away Score Notes
March 19 New York Rangers 4 Boston Bruins 0
March 21 Boston Bruins 4 New York Rangers 3
March 24 Boston Bruins 4 New York Rangers 2
March 26 New York Rangers 1 Boston Bruins 0
March 28 Boston Bruins 0 New York Rangers 1
March 30 New York Rangers 4 Boston Bruins 1

Rangers win best of seven series 4 games to 2

Series B: Chicago Black Hawks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Date Away Score Home Score Notes
March 19 Chicago Black Hawks 2 Toronto Maple Leafs 3 6:35 of OT
March 21 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 Chicago Black Hawks 1

Toronto wins best of three series 2 games to 0

Series C: New York Americans vs. Detroit Red Wings
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